FanDuel Pitching Primer: Wednesday 9/9/20

With a bevvy of strong pitching options today, who should we consider rostering?

In daily fantasy baseball, success starts with nailing the starting pitcher spot in your lineup.

When compared to hitters, pitching performance tends to be much more predictable and stable throughout the course of the season. You know what you're getting from a top-level ace when you roster him: probably a dominant effort with only one or two implosions per season. In contrast, even the game's best hitters have days at the plate when they go 0-for-4.

As a result, lineup construction should begin with the starting pitcher. Which pitchers should you consider on today's main slate?

High-Salaried Option

Yu Darvish, Chicago Cubs

Vs. Cincinnati Reds

FanDuel Salary: $11,500

Coming into this wacky 2020 season, Yu Darvish of the Chicago Cubs certainly had his skeptics. Could he continue his second-half dominance, or was it an aberration?

Through eight starts, the dude has confirmed: he is ballin', and there's no stopping him. Through 50 innings pitched, Darvish has demolished hitters for a 1.44 ERA, 33.0% strikeout rate, and he's dialed in the command and control for a silly 4.2% walk rate.

Darvish faces the Cincinnati Reds, who have plenty of pop -- they clock in with a .203 isolated power (ISO) but a fairly mediocre .329 wOBA, and they rank as the league's worst offense against the slider, Darvish's best wipeout pitch. Expect a big night from him tonight.

Mid-Salaried Play

Pablo Lopez, Miami Marlins

At Atlanta Braves

FanDuel Price: $8,000

The mid-tier is kind of a strange space on Wednesday. There are four arms priced at $9,000 or higher, but not a bunch of arms in the middle. One guy that does stand out lately is Pablo Lopez of the Miami Marlins.

A night ago, rookie Sixto Sanchez dominated Atlanta for six scoreless innings, and Lopez could duplicate the effort tonight, but it's not without some concerns. The Braves have hit righties hard this year with a .363 wOBA and .228 ISO.

However, Lopez has thrived against righties -- he's limited them to a .280 wOBA and only a .375 slugging percentage, so this will be a matchup of two strong players. In addition, Lopez's cutter, one of his main weapons, could be crucial as the Braves rank eighth-worst in the league against the pitch.

There are not many great options here, but Lopez could make for a sneaky play.

Low-Salaried Option

JT Brubaker, Pittsburgh Pirates

Vs. Chicago White Sox

FanDuel Price: $6,800

This is always a bit of a terrifying space to play in, given some of these low-priced arms. And certainly, facing the Chicago White Sox is never a good option necessarily.

But, JT Brubaker could be a very interesting option. If there's a silver lining here, the rookie hurler is providing a bright spot. Over 25 innings pitched, the righty has sported a 24.3% strikeout rate and 41.7% ground-ball rate.

The White Sox do provide some sneaky upside here -- they have an inflated 25.6% strikeout rate this year versus righties, and they only have a .325 wOBA. Consider Brubaker for some leverage.

Matt Kupferle is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Matt Kupferle also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username MKupferle. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in his articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.